Corrosion - Solar Mounting Structures Perspective



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   (/) GroundMountedProducts(/solar-mounting-systems-ground-structureshtml)Roof MountedProducts(/solar-mounting-systems-roof-structureshtml)IntegratedServices(/integrated-serviceshtml)Projects(/projectshtml)Philosophy(/design-philosophyhtml)People(/peoplehtml)Inquiry(/inquiryhtml)Gallery(/galleryhtml) Nuevosol is a total solutions provider of solar mounting structures, including design, engineering, manufacturing and installationHome (/)  / In The News (/in-the-newshtml)  / Corrosion - Solar Mounting Structures PerspectiveIt is no exaggeration to say that in a solar power plant, one mounts all their investments on a steel structure whichsupports the energy generating solar panelsfor three decades The role of mountingstructures is two fold, one is to optimizethe costs involved and make a solar powerplant economically viable and the other is toensure the durability of a solar power plantIn this context we dedicate this article toexplore the mutliple aspects of corrossion inthe mounting structures perspective Corrosion the Process: Corrsion, in simple terms is degradation of ferrous material due to environmentalcondidtions In this process, metal loses itsstrength and does not serve its design lifeand capability leading to material failureCorrosion is a process of metal degradation,where the metal when it comes in contactwith an electrolyte, a localised battery isformed and the metal being anodic loses itelectrons and thus its properties Theelectrolyte can be rain water that is acidic,high humidity and saline air ie air havinghigh amount of dissolved or suspendedminerals like Calcium, Magnesium, etc Observtions (i) Standard Codes: Research on corrosionof steel and its prevention, has been anongoing execrise for many years now andthe codes and guides used to designstructrues and fabricate them have beendeveloped by our academicians based onthis thorough research First step towardsprevention of corrosion is to employ thesecodes with precision through stringentquality norms(ii) Indian Codes and New Materials: Manynewer variations of steel which are equallyor even more capable of resisting corrosionneed to be explored to optimize foreconomic viability Codes and Standards forthese newer material may or may not existand have to be verifi ed with testingcenters We at Nuevosol as a part of ourcontinuous research to optimize haveconducted several tests at reputedlaboratories like TUV to ensure the sameThese results have been shared in thisarticle as a case study(iii) Post-galvanization: Theory and practicesuggests that, a 70 micron and abovecoating thickness is required for 20 year orabove corrosion proofi ng for componentswhich are highly exposed to corrossiveenvironments This is achieved via hot-dipexposed to enviromnent in terms of wearand tear are maintained to be of HDGmaterial with 70 micron coating thickness,while the rest of the components can bepre-galvanized or other newer materialLimitations: Hot dip galvanization being asemi-automated process with lot of manualintervention, calls for quality manaegemntat every level In this semi automatedprocess one must be aware that therecannot bemachine made perfection in thecoating thickness, leading to unevensurfaces Hotdip galvanization is possibleonly at higher thicknesses, and can prove tobe pricey, if it has to be used for completestrcuture(iv) Pre-galvanized Steel: Pre galvanizedsteel has been in use for many years now indeveloped countries for solar mounting Itcomes in three main varieties namely 250GSM, 375 GSM and 550 GSM Pre gavlanizedsteel has been used in many industries,mainly the automobile industry and pre-engineered buildings as it is known for itsformability The features of availability atlower thicknesses and formability havemade it a favourite for design of solarstructures Caution has to be exercised inthe design and manufacturing using pregalavnized steel as the galavnizationcoating thickness is a maximum of 20micron each side for 550 GSM steel Corrosion – SolarMounting StructuresPerspective  Protecting the MountingStructures- Theoriticaland Practical galavnization (HDG) of processed materialHowever in mounting structures base posts/foundation memebers which are the mostHowever the usage of these steels in solarstructures is restrictired to componentswhich are not very exposed to34EQ February 2014corrosive environment nor are prone towater stagnation This has been ongoingpractice for several years in Europe, wherea maximum of 350 GSM steel is being usedwhich proved to be resistant to corrossionAt Nuevosol we use 550 GSM pre galvanizedmaterial Caution has to be exercised whenbending, punching and handling thematerial, as any kind of wear and tear canexpose unportected steel to atmosphere (v) Accessories: In structures that are used for mountingpanels, there will be vibrations due to windloading; these vibrations in turn causesliding of fasteners against the surface of the components at the mounting points,this sliding leads to rupture on the surfaceof the fastener and the component beingfastened at the place of contact, exposingthem to the elements and thus causingcorrosion This can be avoided by providingwashers at the point of contact or providingappropriate spacing allowing a partialmovement or by lubricationAs a practise solar structures are to beassemebled using galvanized accessories oreven better stainless steel accessoriesGenerally prefered grades are HDG 56 forstructure assembly and SS 304 for moduleassemblyPre Galvanized and Post Galvanized Steel; AComparative StudyNuevosol provides warranty on all thesupplied material and therefore gets all itscomponents tested and certifi ed againstcorrosion by many laboratories One suchtest we have conducted to comparecorrosion in various types of steel used insolar structures, we took the assistance of TUV Rheinland Accelerated SaltSpray and CyclicCorrosion Test To phrase it in simple manner, the test is toaccelerate the corrosion process bysimulating the harsh conditions to test for25 years durability in a span of a fewthousand hoursIt is a standardized method used to checkcorrosion resistance of metals/alloys andinorganic and organic coatings It is a toolfor evaluating the uniformity of thicknessand degree of porosity of metallic andnonmetallic protective coatings A numberof samples can be tested at once dependingupon their sizeThis method is considered most useful formeasuring relative corrosion resistance of closely related materials (comparative test)It is widely used for process qualifi cationand quality acceptance The test methodprovides a controlled corrosive environmentrepresenting accelerated marine typeatmospheric condition One test cycle consists of    SampleResult Column Post 550 GSMwith Zn SprayNo sign of corrosion even after 2000hours of exposureColumn Post HDG 80MSNo sign of corrosion even after 2000hours of exposureColumn Post 350 GSMSign of corrosion after 960 hours of exposureZinc Alum CoatedSteelNo sign of corrosion even after 2400hours of exposure 35EQ February 20141 Four spray periods each of 2 hour2 Humidity storage period between 20 to 22hours after each spray period;3 Afterwards one storage period of 3 daysunder a standard atmosphere for testing at 23±20 C and 45% to 55% humidityThere are a number of such cycles followed totest the sampleThe following are thecomponents that we got tested recently and theresults and conclusions follow: Observations of the experiment: Hot Dip Galvanized 80 Micron (HDG 80MS)coated steel is the most corrosion resistantmaterial Zinc Alum Coated Steel and Pregalvanized 550 GSM material have comparableresistance to HDG 80 Lower grade Pre-galvanised materials are corrosive compared toboth HDG 80 MS, Zinc-Alum and Pre-Galvanized550 GSM Steel  Copyrights 2013-15 Nuevosol Energy Pvt Ltd India Contact (/contacthtml)Email: infonuevo-solcom (mailto:infonuevo-solcom)Call +91 40 2359 2222 / +91 40 2355 1006